Wooden blinds add a touch of elegance to any room, whether you opt for Venetian style slats or louver style shutters. The key to maintaining their timeless look is keeping them clean. Dust and fingerprints can make them look grimy and dated over time. The following tips can help you keep them in good shape.
Tip #1: Skip the Water
While a damp cloth is a quick way to collect dust off of plastic or aluminum blinds, water can cause wooden blinds to warp or develop spots. They are even more prone to water damage if the wood is a veneer, since this can weaken the glue and cause the veneer on the slats to peel. Instead, use a wood cleaner, such as an oil soap, to wipe down your blinds. This will remove the dust without any fear of damage, and oil-based wood cleaners also condition the slats so they keep their healthy sheen.
Tip #2: Consider the White Glove Treatment
Plain cotton gloves (white or otherwise) are the perfect items for cleaning blind slats. Simply put on a pair, apply the cleaner to the fingers, and then wipe down the under and upper side of each slat. You can even do two at a time if you slide one slat between your pinky and ring finger, and a second slat between your middle and index finger. Unlike similar tools made to clean blinds, you have more control over your fingers so you can even get into the tricky areas where the cords are attached.
Tip #3: Go With Microfiber
Not every wooden blind cleaning needs to be a deep cleaning with gloves and oil soap. Between the more in-depth dusting, do a light weekly or twice-weekly dusting with a microfiber cloth. Fully close the blinds in the downward position and rub the cloth over the slats, then flip to the upward position and repeat the process. This only takes a few minutes, but it prevents heavy dust buildup.
Tip #4: Put on the Polish
If your wood blinds are looking dull, try applying a coat of polish. Wear a clean pair of gloves and apply it using the same technique as for cleaning the blinds. For blinds that have become faded or discolored, you can try a rub-in stain. This can be time consuming since you have to do each slat individually. You simply rub in the stain with a clean cloth and then use a second cloth to rub off any excess. The result is new looking blinds. You can even change to a darker color, if desired. If re-staining seems like too much work, contact a local window blinds company to look at new window covering options.